In the midst of the Blizzard of 2015, Twitter announced two new features on its platform: group direct messaging and native video sharing. These additions are intended to make the service easier to use and to enhance its growth potential. They not only impact the way people use the app, but they also hold significant meaning and change for social marketers:

  • Group direct messaging:  Direct messaging has allowed two Twitter users who follow each other to connect privately. This feature now allows up to 20 members to privately connect and converse, but there’s a catch: Not all members have to be following each other to communicate privately. As a result, this gives users more options for how to communicate with others. Marketers can connect with more people to promote their brands and reach their audience; however, it will be interesting to hear the feedback on this feature once users adjust to it. Will group direct messaging result in positive conversation or will it be used as an outlet for mass complaints?
  • Video sharing: Twitter has come a long with video technology being that the only connection the app previously had to video was through Vine. Now, users can add videos up to 30 seconds in length to their tweets. The iPhone app lets users upload pre-recorded clips or clips created within the app directly to Twitter. This feature brings about a new way to interact with audiences without sending users to external hosting sources such as Vine or YouTube. Marketers will be able to integrate video into their Twitter marketing strategies while staying on brand and engaging with their respective audiences.

B2B companies can use group messaging to reach influencers directly and efficiently, allowing a select group of people to share in updates and news.  In addition, the introduction of video usage on the service opens up opportunities for companies to share news visually and have further interactions with users.

There is no doubt in my mind that these features will ultimately increase engagement if used in strategic and creative ways. I am interested to see how group direct messaging will play out and how it will both negatively and positively impact brand images.

Have you tried using either one of these features on Twitter? Share your experiences in the comments!